The NFL Scouting combine is in the books for another year, and that means the litany of NFL scouts and executives got an up close and personal look at some of the potential draft picks. And while there is already tons of film already from actual gameplay, how the players do in the combine does indeed have an impact on where they slot when teams begin the selection process in April.
In the case of C.J. Stroud, his performance throwing the ball drew rave reviews for the most part, so he likely only improved his draft stock with teams that were already trying to decide where he fits in when the party gets started out in Kansas City.
There are a lot of NFL mock drafts out there, and clearly, there are some changes since everything that went down in Indianapolis last week, We felt it was a good time to do a bit of a whip-around to see where Stroud is in some of most popular 2023 NFL mock drafts that have updated.
Here’s where the Ohio State signal-caller lands in some of those mock drafts after the NFL combine.
ESPN - Todd McShay
What McShay Says
“Houston still has a lot of homework to do on the quarterbacks, and we aren’t sure how its internal board sets up, but the projected Colts-Bears trade might not ruin its first night of the draft. Stroud could be the Texans’ answer after they turned in the league’s worst QBR last season (26.0). He threw 41 touchdown passes in 2022 and ended his college career with perhaps his best game. Stroud has terrific touch and can make all of the NFL-level throws, and we saw it again on Saturday when he put together an outstanding throwing session at the combine.
“Can GM Nick Caserio and first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans get Stroud some help, though? The Texans pick again at No. 12 and then have a trio of Day 2 selections.”
CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso
NFL.com - Lance Zierlein
What Zierlein Says
“The Raiders can either sit tight and hope they get their guy at No. 7 … or look to aggressively move up and target the quarterback they want. In this exercise, Josh McDaniels and Co. jump into Arizona’s draft slot to snag Stroud, who put on the best pure throwing display in Indy.”
FOX Sports - Ralph Vacchiano and Ben Arthur
What Vacchiano and Arther Say
“C.J. Stroud checks about every box you want in a quarterback — great size, throwing mechanics, decision-making and accuracy. He helped his stock tremendously making plays outside of the pocket in the Peach Bowl against Georgia. If Young is the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft, Stroud is a close second.”
PFF - Mike Renner and Sam Monson
What Renner and Monson Say
“As a passer, Stroud is nothing like the other two first-round quarterbacks who came out of Ohio State before him. And that bodes well for his NFL prospects.”
“I really like this quarterback class. I like all of these guys in the right situation. To me, this is the right situation for Stroud.” — Renner
What Walter Football Says
“The Texans won’t be able to get the quarterback they want because of their foolish decision to win in Week 18 (I expect the Bears to swap picks with another team that needs a quarterback.) They could trade up to No. 1, but that would make them look extra stupid.
“Houston passed on all the quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. No one blamed them for doing that, but they won’t be able to repeat that strategy this upcoming April.
“C.J. Stroud completed 71 percent of his passes this past season. He’s a lethal passer, and as we saw in the college football semi-final, he can run if he needs to with his 4.65 speed.”
Yahoo Sports - Charles McDonald
What McDonald Says
“In this scenario, the Colts send the fourth pick, 35th pick, 106th pick, and their 2024 first-round selection to the Bears in exchange for the rights to select their new franchise savior. C.J. Stroud likely solidified himself as the top quarterback in the draft with a near-flawless workout at the combine.”
College Sports Wire - Patrick Conn
What Conn Says
“Bryce Young goes No. 1 but the Houston Texans still land a top quarterback in C.J. Stroud from Ohio State. He gives them a building block for the new-look team under first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans. They also have another pick in the first round as they look to infuse the team with top talent.”
Draft Wire - Luke Easterling
What Easterling Says
“The Bears won’t mind trading down again from this spot, and the Colts will be motivated to jump ahead of any other QB-needy team trying to move up the board for the next-best signal-caller. It still costs them next year’s first-round pick and this year’s second-round pick, but making sure they land a pro-ready franchise passer in Stroud is worth it.”
Touchdown Wire - Doug Farrar
What Farrar Says
“Obviously, new Colts head coach and former Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen could do all kinds of interesting stuff with either Bryce Young with the first pick, or with Anthony Richardson if the Colts were to stand pat or trade down. But it happens that Steichen was nice enough to drop in on Peter King’s tweet-up (a mandatory combine event every year), and he spent most of that time telling stories about Philip Rivers, who Steichen worked with from 2014 through 2019.
“And that had me thinking that Stroud might be the choice should Indy move up so that Steichen can have his pick from this quarterback class. Stroud puts me in mind of an embryonic Rivers with his field vision and ball placement, and given the mobility he showed against Georgia’s defense in his final collegiate game, there’s even more and better to come. Here, it costs the Colts their first-, second-, and third-round picks in 2023, and their first-round pick in 2024, to get Stroud.”